Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Kentucky
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Kentucky.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Kentucky’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Kentucky ranks 38th in the nation.4 About 130,000 Hispanics reside in Kentucky, 0.3% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Kentucky’s population is 3% Hispanic, ranking 43rd in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 41,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky—ranking 39th in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 1% of Kentucky eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 47th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- Fewer than one-third of Hispanics in Kentucky (31%) are eligible to vote, ranking Kentucky 41st nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, more than three-quarters (77%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Nearly four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky (39%) are ages 18 to 29, greater than the share of Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Kentucky eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky, 24% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 1% of all eligible voters in Kentucky and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky have a similar Hispanic origin profile to Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. More than half (54%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky are of Mexican origin, 17% of Puerto Rican origin and 29% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican and 26% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. Two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in Kentucky (20%) have not completed high school, slightly more than the 17% of all Kentucky eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Half of Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky (50%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 58% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Kentucky (70%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Kentucky, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky by more than 71 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by almost 6 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black and white eligible voters in Kentucky. Some 39% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 27% of black eligible voters and 20% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do black and white eligible voters in Kentucky. Some 20% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma compared with 17% of black and white eligible voters. However, the share of Hispanics in Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree or more (17%) is higher than that of blacks (13%). A slightly larger share of white eligible voters (19%) have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (50%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (42%) in Kentucky, but they are less likely to do so than white Kentucky eligible voters (73%).
- Eligible voters are defined as U.S. citizens ages 18 and older. Eligible voters are not the same as registered voters. To cast a vote, in all states except North Dakota, an eligible voter must first register to vote. ↩
- The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are used interchangeably. References to other races and ethnicities are to the non-Hispanic components of those populations. ↩
- This statistical profile of eligible voters is based on the Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. The data used for this statistical profile come from the 2010 ACS Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), representing a 1% sample of the U.S. population. Like any survey, estimates from the ACS are subject to sampling error and (potentially) measurement error. More information is available on ACS sampling strategy and associated error. ↩
- Rankings for “Percent of Hispanic population eligible to vote” are based on the District of Columbia and the 46 states whose Hispanic samples in the 2010 ACS are large enough to generate reliable estimates. All other rankings are based on the District of Columbia and the 50 states. ↩